Steen Tinning (EuropeanTour)
Denmark’s Steen Tinning has been pushing his body to the limit as he prepares for a new start on the European Senior Tour.
The two-time European Tour Champion makes his debut at the MCB Tour Championship next week and he has been participating in triathlons and ironman contests in recent years to help improve his physical fitness.
Meanwhile Tinning, who turned 50 in October, has also been playing on the ECCO Tour in his native Denmark, winning once in 2012 en route to finishing 12th on the Order of Merit.
He believes he is now in the best shape of his life as he prepares to embark on his new career on the Senior Tour.
The Copenhagen-resident explained: “In 2009 I decided I wanted to get back into shape and get competitive again ahead of the beginning of my Senior Tour career.
“Since 2003 (the end of his European Tour career) I have done a lot of coaching on the mental aspects of the game and also some commentary work and consultancy for various golf clubs and agencies, so it was a big decision for me to get back into competitive golf.
“When I finished on The European Tour I had struggled with a really bad back and suffered a lot of pain, so I knew I had to work really hard on my general fitness.
“Then a good friend of mine suggested I join him in preparing for triathlons. At first I thought he was crazy but then I began to work on my body and rehabilitate completely. So I have been competing in triathlons for the past three years and also in ironman competitions.
“That competitiveness has really motivated me now for the Senior Tour, no doubt about it. It has made me very focussed about my practice and my routines and I’ve been working hard on my game now so I cannot want to play in Mauritius.”
Tinning believes there are a lot of similarities between the gruelling endurance tests and golf.
“I did a lot of training by myself for the triathlons and you have to really work to your own schedule and be disciplined with yourself,” said Tinning. “You have to want it really badly if you want to do well, and in those ways I think it is very similar to golf.”
Now, the seven time World Cup player is ready to compete on the Senior Tour in 2013, and will have a taste of things to come at the luxurious Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius from December 7-9, having received an invite to play in the MCB Tour Championship.
“My body is in much better shape now than it was when I finished playing in 2003 and I just do not get tired playing golf anymore,” he said. “I feel like I can play a round or two of golf now and still go and run a marathon afterwards!
“I think that will really help on the Senior Tour and as well as playing there I also want to get back playing at the top level on The European Tour, so hopefully I can get a few appearances there too.
“I would not have made the decision to play competitively again if I didn’t think I could win and I have played with a lot of the younger players recently in Denmark, so I think my game is in good shape.
“I have heard Mauritius is a great tournament too and I am looking forward to seeing a lot of players I played with on The European Tour. It is going to be great to back into it.”
American Tom Lehman defends his title in the MCB Tour Championship after finishing one stroke clear of South African David Frost 12 months ago. Roger Chapman, the US Senior PGA and US Senior Open champion, will pick up the John Jacobs Trophy after winning the Senior Tour Order of Merit.